In a recent lecture given by Steven Kotler on FLOW he states that FLOW is created in 4 ways.
- Challenge vs. skill balance
- Clear goals
- Immediate feedback
Lets look at FOCUS.
FLOW is created by an athlete’s ability to FOCUS intensely. Tony Robbins also state’s this the ability to channel into a LASER FOCUS is one of our greatest powers. Robbins talks about in his book Unlimited Power* and Awaken the Giant* within, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi also claim’s that this is the key to happiness*.
In the case of extreme sports athletes that are able to tap into this because they are usually in a state where their life is on the line. They need to focus or they could die.
Creating a FLOW like State at Work
At work – it’s a bit of a different story. Not all of us are in DO or DIE situations at the office, or have other people lives at state.
Kotler claim’s it’s through BELIEF that we are able to channel this inner FOCUS. It’s through Belief, it’s the WHY we do things. This can further be examined in Simon Senik’s start with WHY. Jim Roth always says you need to have a PURPOSE. All of these things to me say the same thing. If you know WHY you do what you do, if you understand you have a PURPOSE and BELIEVE in it, you WILL be able to better tap into a FLOW like state with your work. You will be able to channel what Tony Robbins calls the ability to laser focus. Because you will believe so strongly in what you are doing has a purpose that will service or impact others and not just give you money.
Create an environment that fosters laser focus – may personal development professional echo this – Tony Robbins claims that there is nothing more powerful than someone who is laser focused on something. First they need to believe that the struggle is worth it – this will allow them to focus on doing the necessary to get them through the frustration, when belief and focus is combined – this produces a game like state and the act of moving through this stage become a game. Creativity starts to flow and rules are bent to achieve results.
This also relates to Simon Sniek and his theory of starting with why, and can also be reinforced with appropriate leadership tactics – by leading by example and why great leaders eat last.
How to create belief
What I’m going to do now is look at the recruitment industry (as I work in recruitment).
Every single sales person, and this is so evident in recruitment, wants to be a big biller – they see the top of the mountain, however a lot do not realise the steps people took to get there.
This is actually a RESULT. This is actually why a LOT of sales people do what they do, they want the RESULT of making a LOT of MONEY. This is exactly how the role is marketed to attract people and encourages churn and burn in the business.
What they don’t sell is how you are going to get there:
What about if we sold recruitment (or any sales role for that matter) different and implanted the ideal of a positive struggle to get to the top and the benefits of this? And what will RESULT over TIME and HARD WORK – is the financial success… instead of just selling the SIZZLE… (You don’t sell the steak you sell the sizzle: this works until people come back – they come back for the STEAK) or the dream of a multiple six figure salary.
I like to use the Yacht analogy – imagine that you are in a yacht in a safe in a harbour, safe but bored with life and broke. All of a sudden your crew hears of an island full of people having fun, making a load of money, spending a load of money and living a dream. Sounds like fun let’s go there!
This is how I currently see a lot of sale’s positions being sold to candidates in the market. What I call from the top up, and when a boat (or company) comes to take them there they have really little idea what journey they are about to embark on. It’s possibly the roughest sea’s that they have ever experienced, with people who are equally inexperienced as themselves causing internal negative discourse and dialog that results in a poisonous environment, and they are forced to do things that are out side of the comfort zone – without proper guidance, support, feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and reward system that rewards winners not learners – along the way – are you wondering why people are jumping ship (or these industries have such a high turnover)?
What if we were to sell from the beginning all of the skills that you will develop along the way of this journey will include: that every day you will be challenged harder than the next, you will develop skills on business development, account management, leadership, productivity, organisation, prioritisation, communication skills – both nonverbal and verbal, how to use tonality to command authority, you will learn about psychological profiles of people and how to better interact with them, you will learn how to persuade and influence anyone better that you have before, you will also develop a thick skin of self-confidence if you apply and continue to utilise these skills on a daily basis.
All of these skills are transferable – all of these skills – in not only your business world, but you everyday life as well. If we were to communicate that every step that we take on this journey together, because it is a journey, would we be able to help them achieve the goals that they want in life and as a result help them achieve the financial freedom along the way?
By doing this not only are we engraining a belief system into recruiters or business professionals, we are also incorporating an immediate feedback/reward system that is developing in real-time. We are also helping aid people not to get attached to the frustration phase of FLOW and can quickly tap into release and FLOW like states at work.
Now there are ways that we can help HACK this and streamline people into FLOW like states…. yes even in recruitment and especially with Sales people. My theory we empower them to do things that they love, reduce stress around things they don’t, gamify admin duties, free up WMD’s and the list will go on.
We shall explore this in another post….
To be continued flowhackers…
Books referenced in this post:
Unlimited Power – Tony Robbins (1986)
Awaken the Giant Within – Tony Robbins (1991)
Start with Why – Simon Sinek (2011)
FLOW – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2008)
Stealing Fire – Steven Kotel & Jamie Sebel (2016)